The Chariot

In this picture we again meet the 'magician5. This time, however, he is no longer in a dilemma as on tarot card 6, nor does he need to shield himself against alien influences as at the 'parting of the ways'. Now he stands self-assured and resolute, not on foot, but in a cube-shaped chariot which hastens his progress to the goal. At the turning-point of his life, at the parting, he chose the right side - as we have shown, he could choose only the right path - and he became conqueror.

He now wears a crown with three large shining stars. A star radiates light and, as a symbol of light, it invariably stands for consciousness. The three stars denote in this case the three temporal phases of consciousness: past, present and future. For these three phases of time exist only in man's conscious mind. The conqueror has now reached the stage where he can consciously build his future from the treasures of the past.

He wears a coat of mail. Its colour shows that he has a spiritual outlook and deep belief in God. He wears a short skirt on which we see three large yellow circles. The three points of the skirt where the circles are placed are trimmed with yellow. The three large circles symbolise the three worlds, heaven, earth and hell, which he has already perceived to be states of consciousness. The yellow border again denotes that he manifests his spirituality through his brilliant intellect.

On his chest we see a broad blue band on which are sewn the five buttons he already had as a 'magician'. These are again the five sense-organs linking him with the external world. In his right hand he holds his magic wand which, since he is now a conqueror, has become a mighty sceptre. He has become a ruler in his world.

On his shoulders we see the two celestial bodies, sun and moon, which we have already seen on the chest of the king of heaven. Man, as conqueror, is also in possession of the two great forces, the positive power of the sun and the negative power of the moon, and he quite consciously works with both of these creative energies.

The cube-shaped chariot reminds us of the throne of the ruler of heaven. Then, however, it was not a chariot but a simple cube. Now the conqueror uses this cube as a chariot for his triumphal procession. At each of the four corners of the chariot is a pole supporting a blue canopy above the head of the conqueror. The four poles symbolise the four elements: fire, air, water and earth. The conqueror stands between these poles at the point of intersection of the diagonals, thus uniting these four elements in himself and controlling them. The canopy consists of four large blue semi-circles. Each of these bears three stars, thus altogether there are twelve. These stand for the twelve signs of the zodiac as in the picture of the queen of heaven.

Some curious shapes are depicted on the front of the chariot. In the centre we recognise the two human sexual organs united. They rest within each other like the positive and the negative pole at the seventh level of consciousness. The Bible says: 'And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh "day" from all his work which he had made.' (Genesis 2: 2-3) In the Bible 'day' means consciousness and 'night' the unconscious. And the number 7 is the number of this card. The sacred philosophy of China represents this divine, neutral state of the two poles 'resting within themselves' by Yang and Yin.

This representation of the sexual organs in the picture is framed by a narrow oval yellow band. We understand from this that the conqueror who chose the right path on the sixth tarot card already knows intuitively as well as intellectually that the two sexes are in fact but one. They are the two halves of the divine whole. Man, as a spiritual being, should therefore unite the two halves in himself at a high level of consciousness if he wants to be the 'whole'. In the body he can belong to the positive or the negative pole; in the spirit he contains both these poles and is androgynous. What is in his head, however -what he understands - is still far from realisation. Yet realisation has to begin with understanding. Then that which has been understood filters out of the intellect into the being. John says: 'And the Word was made flesh'; thus we gradually become that which previously we had merely understood. The person at this level of consciousness understands the unity of the two halves, but he is still only one half and not the whole. He does not yet experience the whole in a state of being.

Above this figure we recognise the Egyptian symbol of Logos, of the creative principle, which races through the universe creating and animating all things. It is the simplified shape of the Horus falcon, a red circle with large wings on either side. Therefore the spirit stands above separations: it is a unity. And the man who has fought his way up to this spiritual level is also a unity in his consciousness. In his spirit he is a whole. A white and a black sphinx draw the chariot. We are familiar with the black sphinx from tarot card 2. There she was seated next to the high priestess's throne. The white sphinx was then still invisible. At the level of consciousness of the high priestess man knew only the material world and the laws of that world. Now he already knows both sides, the right and the left, the spiritual and the material world. They are no longer mysteries to him. If we examine the two sphinxes, we realise that they are not two sphinxes at all, but one sphinx with two torsos. The material-earthly world is the opposite image to the spiritual-divine world. What I see and what I am are always diametrically opposed. If we stand opposite someone, we see his right hand on the side of our left hand and at the same time his left hand on the side of our right hand. Therefore, what I seey I cannot ie, and what I am., I cannot see. No artist can paint his self-portrait, for he can never see himself. He can see and paint only his reflected image. Yet that is not himself, it is not how he is in reality. His right side is on the left, and his left side is on the right side of the reflection!

This is true of everything, but for the moment we shall confine our attention to the example of writing only. When I look at the letter E it stands from left to right. If, however, I experience diis same letter in a state of being, that is to say, if I write this E on my body so that I am this E, then it stands in reverse position, from right to left. In our modern Western culture, after the fall from Paradise, we read and write from left to right. Yet there are still peoples who have preserved their style of writing from primeval times, from a state of being, and who read and write from right to left. The Jews are such a nation. They transmit the state of being to the paper and read and write from right to left.

The white sphinx symbolises the state of being and the black sphinx the state of the fall from Paradise. They try to go in opposite directions, but in so doing achieve only the onward movement of the chariot as the resultant of the opposed energies.

The conqueror understands this truth and he sees and is the two sphinxes. He already knows the difference between the fallen state and the divine state of being, even if he is not yet always able to hold out in that state. He still falls, he projects himself again and again outwardly. Human frailty still draws him out of it; he has not yet been able to conquer it entirely. Nevertheless, he is on the homeward path. Just as the conqueror stands self-assured and self-confident in his chariot, so at this level man also acquires these characteristics. He begins to know his own powers, but he has already reached the stage where he knows, and does not forget, that all these powers are not his but belong to God. He now knows that without god he is nothing, that he receives all his abilities and talents from the single primal source of all powers. Everything that lives merely receives vital energy, abilities and talents. Michelangelo, Beethoven and other titans did not derive these powers from themselves; they all received diem from God.

Man does not possess his own vital energy, abilities and talents. He obtains everything from God. Once he realises that, he loses his previous arrogance and egocentric perspective which could only grow from his ignorance, and he becomes modest. He knows that he is only the person, only a loudspeaker of God. In antiquity, 'persona' was the name given to the mask worn by players to let their voices 'come through'. Man lets God's voice come through himself. At the same time, however, he begins to feel that god loves and guides him, because god still has plans for him. For that very reason god bestows upon him abilities and talents, because he intends to use him as a chosen instrument of manifestation. Man feels then that he is a child of God and always tries to do His will. He already knows that self-confidence is confidence in God! He knows that what is good in himself is god, and that what is imperfect in him is so because now and then he manifests his person and not god. He therefore tries to develop still further in order to become an even more effective loudspeaker of God. The greater his awareness of the futility of his person, the greater his self-confidence, because he feels that he is only the 'persona', the 'mask' of God, and that God speaks, instructs and loves all men through him. Thus he becomes an ever more efficient bearer of the divine powers. He notices that his words and deeds acquire a suggestive power over his fellow-men.

He uses this power to help others. People notice his superiority. Whatever he desires in his higher Self, he is able to carry out. He becomes a conqueror everywhere.

This time is a triumphal procession for man. He has won the great struggle at the parting of the ways. Now there are no more struggles and he cannot imagine that more and much harder struggles might be in store for him in the future. At this stage he rests on his laurels and believes that from now on the path will always lead upwards without great exertions on his part. He is satisfied with himself and with the world. He sees everything in an optimistic light and his fortune, too, brings him wide recognition and honour. Those people who do not yet know the vital sources from which he draws his energy admire him. They become his friends and want to learn from him. The difference between him and average men is not yet so great that they cannot understand him. Thus he is successful with his teachings and, in addition to his professional work, he takes time to occupy himself with his fellow-men. Everywhere he reaps recognition, love and honour.

Thus at this level man ends the first cycle of his development which is represented by die first seven tarot cards. At the same time, however, this level is also the beginning of a new cycle which starts widi card 7 and ends with card 13. At this level of consciousness, therefore, man is at the end of the past and at the beginning of the future cycle of his development.

The tarot card 7 carries the number 7 and the letter zain.

The number 7 is the most important number at our earthly level. Everything that is a unity here on earth breaks up into seven components. The Bible says that the seven souls of God animate the world and that the Creation consists of seven spheres of creation. In the Revelation of St John we read that the Lamb, the creative principle, Logos, has seven horns, which symbolise the seven creative powers. In the Cabbala and in the Indian Vedanta philosophy we find the same asser tions and the seven levels are listed in the same manner: the material-physical, the vegetative, the animal, the mental, the causal, the divine-spiritual and the divine-creative. One of the greatest initiates of the West, Paracelsus, asserted the same truth. The highest product of creation on earth - man - consists of seven levels. Countryfolk have a saying: 'Man has seven skins.' The Bible lists many more instances: the seven fat cows and the seven lean cows denote the seven fat years and the seven lean years. And in heaven God gave a sign of his covenant with Noah: the rainbow made up of seven colours. The seven intervals of an octave; the seven vertebral bones of the human neck, of the giraffe or the mole; the seven hills on which Rome wras built and the seven heads of the dragon in fairy-tales are all evidence of the great truth that the key number of the material world is 7.

Geometry also reveals the importance of the number 7. Every circle contains 7 smaller circles whose diameter measures exactly one third of the diameter of the large circle:

And in the three dimensions the number 7 is most significant: if the non-dimensional point moves from the unmanifested into manifestation, becoming a line in the first dimension, it contains three factors - the point of origin, the terminal point, and the interval between the two. If the line continues to manifest itself with the same energy and speed in the second dimension, the area is created - the square with five factors. It has four sides and, as the fifth factor, the inner area. If the area continues to manifest itself in the third dimension, the cube is created with its seven factors: with six areas and the seventh factor, the volume. The number 7 is therefore the key number of the three-dimensional world. John, too, speaks in Revelation of the new holy Jerusalem, which is the Lamb's

wife. 4 And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal' (Rev. 21: 16) Thus we see that the new Jerusalem is a cube!

The number 7 also has a special relationship to the letters of the alphabet. If we mark the circumference of a circle with seven equidistant points, and join these up without retracing a line, we obtain exactly twenty-one links with the centre, therefore twenty-two factors. And our alphabet comprises exactly twenty-two letters with the letter Jay in the middle. The compound letters are merely further variations and not independent etters.

The letter zain means:' victory in all worlds \ It corresponds to the seventh sefirah, Netsah, which means endurance.

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